Facts About The Domain Name System

Within the Internet, web sites are uniquely identified by IP addresses, in the sense that every web site has an associated IP address, so it can be easily found differentiated from other web sites.

For machines, IP addresses as a perfect representation, since each IP is composed of 4 numbers, which are each composed of 3 digits, adding up to 12 digits. Each of these groups of digits translates into a set of 8 binary digits, to form a total of 32 digits in a binary representation. Due to the high number of digits, the possible combinations exceed 4.2 billion, meaning there can be more than 4.2 billion unique IP addresses at one time.

Computers communicate in binary language, so for them, this type of representation is perfect, but humans are used to associate objects or words to certain meanings, in order to remember, so it's impossible for a human re remember an IP address in binary form, and to differentiate between two or more binary IP addresses. Remembering an IP address in decimal form is easier, but still, few humans manage to remember.

This is why the Domain Name System or DNS was established. DNS attributes a name (or a set of alphanumeric characters) to an IP, so you can access a web site either by its IP address, or by its name address.

DNS web site names usually (with almost no exception) are composed of 4 standard elements: the protocol used (HTTP, FTP or other), the prefix of the web site (WWW, WWW2, etc or a sub-domain within the web site), the web site name (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, or other), and the extension (com, org, net, etc). After the extension, the path to a specific file may be written.

Example http://www.mysite.com/index.html is a full DNS compliant web site address, composed of the protocol (HTTP), the prefix (WWW), the site name (mysite), the extension (com), and the path to a file (/index.html means that the file index.html is at the top level of the website).

The actual mane of the website is extremely important, as it is the one thing that can catch a user's attention. If you have a website that acts as an online market, it's essential to name the website into something that would suggest online marketing, sales, trading, transfer of money, etc. If a web surfer sees your link somewhere, he needs to be tempted by the link name to access the web site. The more catchy the name, the more chances are for you to gain a new user.

Another important aspect is the length of the name. It's been proven that an ideal name ranges in length from 4 to 10 characters, and is clear, concise and suggestive.

Basically, DNS simplifies web browsing, but in order to take full advantage of its features, you need to make it work for you. The reason that DNS was implemented was because a set of numbers meant nothing to a random web surfer, so what name you choose for your website address is critical, it needs to capture attention and make you stand out of the crowd.